“It’s been called persuasion research, cognitive bias research, social psychology and lots of other things,” said Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director of web design firm Orbit Media. “But I call it neuromarketing—the science of how messages interact with the brain to effect behavior.”
Here are Crestodina’s rules of the road for employing cognitive biases to increase conversion rates with your web content.
1. Make every other decision seem weird.
Crestodina named social proof as perhaps the most potent factor in influencing behavior, citing social philosopher Eric Hoffer: “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
Our job is to give people the reassurance that they’re making the right decision, with:
2. Put purchase decisions in context.
Ever wonder why so many websites offer products in distinct price tiers? Crestodina pointed to a Williams-Sonoma screen. “The $380 bread maker sells the $235 model,” he said. “Who knows if they even sell any of the $380 model? That’s there to make $235 seem like a reasonable price.”
But when you’re offering several similarly-priced options, don’t show them all. In one example, showing just the top seller produced a 233% higher conversion rate.
3. Get your FOMO working.
Why do people flock to Black Friday door-buster sales?
“On MRIs, the loss of opportunity looks just like physical pain,” said Crestodina. “People just hate to miss these deals, because the pain of loss is stronger than the pleasure of gain.”
To take advantage of people’s hard-wired FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—he recommended we:
4. Draw bull’s-eyes for visitors’ eyes.
Crestodina cited eye-tracking studies to illustrate some ways to get visitors to look where you want them to look, read what you want them to read, and do what you want them to do.
“Some of these techniques may feel creepy,” said Crestodina. “But they’re just taking advantage of what’s programmed into the human brain. And 100% of your customers have brains.”
Check out Andy's presentation below:
You can view the entire presentation on YouTube here.